Defining Cognitive Reserve and Implications for Cognitive Aging

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Purpose of Review: The aim of this review is to summarize current conceptual models of cognitive reserve (CR) and related concepts and to discuss evidence for these concepts within the context of aging and Alzheimer’s disease. Recent Findings: Evidence to date supports the notion that higher levels of CR, as measured by proxy variables reflective of lifetime experiences, are associated with better cognitive performance, and with a reduced risk of incident mild cognitive impairment/dementia. However, the impact of CR on longitudinal cognitive trajectories is unclear and may be influenced by a number of factors. Although there is promising evidence that some proxy measures of CR may influence structural brain measures, more research is needed. Summary: The protective effects of CR may provide an important mechanism for preserving cognitive function and cognitive well-being with age, in part because it can be enhanced throughout the lifespan. However, more research on the mechanisms by which CR is protective is needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1
JournalCurrent neurology and neuroscience reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019


  • Aging
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Biomarkers
  • Cognition
  • Cognitive reserve
  • Review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Clinical Neurology


Dive into the research topics of 'Defining Cognitive Reserve and Implications for Cognitive Aging'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this